This latest newsletter gives details of grants awarded during February, to charities and organisations across the Province. Its aim is to ensure that all Brethren and their families within Yorkshire, West Riding are aware of how their contributions are being used and the work that WRMCL is doing, on their behalf, to support those within our communities.
Since the previous update, the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund has made grants, totalling over £26,500, to ten community organisations, where it is hoped there will be the biggest impact in terms of community benefit:
Bradford Central Foodbank
Every day, people in the UK go hungry, for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income or a benefit stopping. A simple box of food makes a big difference, with foodbanks helping prevent crime, housing loss, family breakdown and mental health problems.
The Bradford Central Foodbank collects food from supermarkets, markets and shops to prepare emergency food parcels for families who would go hungry without their help and support.
Last year they fed just over 14,200 people, compared to 5,666 the previous year. On average they have fed 263 people and given away 4 tons of food every week.
Sixty volunteer drivers deliver the parcels to those who are unable to collect them, for medical, mobility or disability reasons or those self-isolating. In addition to the volunteer drivers, there are 130 other people volunteering throughout the year.
The grant of £1,250 will pay the cost of transport to pick up food and to deliver the emergency food parcels; sponsored by Acacia Lodge No 2321, Baildon.
The Howarth Foundation
The Howarth Foundation’s initiative, ‘Business Building Futures – Street 2 Feet’ supports the homeless or recently re-housed jobless back into full or part time employment or training.
The Foundation is a charity for the prevention or relief of poverty in respect of individuals who are, or who have recently been, homeless in the districts of Leeds and Kirklees
They plan to set-up a social enterprise, in the form of a retail outlet, that not only offers for sale, preloved, high end, good quality items, but also provides training and work experience opportunities to their clients. They have premises in Armley, which they are currently renovating and plan to open the doors in April.
The grant of £3,000 will help towards the cost of fitting out the premises; sponsored by Lodge of Friendship No 750, Cleckheaton.
Barnsley Foodbank Partnership
Barnsley Foodbank Partnership are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust and have, for many years, served those in the community in crisis and need of assistance. They distribute food parcels, providing nutritious supplies for a three-day period, to an average of ninety-five clients a week.
The grant, of £2,000 will be used to buy food and to assist with running costs for their van, used to collect food from donors and deliver to drop off points at one of eleven community-based centres; sponsored by Kirklees Lodge No 4710, Mirfield.
Slaithwaite Playgroup and Toddlers
Slaithwaite Playgroup and Toddlers (SPlaT!) has been running for almost 40 years. Their vision is to enable children to have quality play time, through which they will develop independence and learn. This is done with other children; with qualified staff; with committee members; with parent involvement; with local schools and local community.
The grant of £1,160 will enable the purchase of a replacement laptop, to manage the affairs of the Charity and assist with the day-to-day administration, together with four replacement Tablets for use by Playgroup staff; sponsored by Colne Valley Lodge No 1645.
Longroyde Nursery & Primary School Foodbank.
The Foodbank at Longroyd Primary School, Rastrick provides food parcels and clothing to vulnerable and disadvantaged families in the community; funded by donations from parents and staff.
Providing forty to fifty a week, each food parcel is valued around £15. They also supply clothing as and when items become available for distribution.
The school was awarded a grant of £2,000 to help them in this very worthwhile venture.
In addition, members of Rastrick Lodge No 4885 donated £200 and a further £100 was donated by Brighouse Lodge of Mark Master Masons No 753.
Having closed its ‘Pay As You Feel’ cafes at St Mark’s Church, Harrogate and Gracious Street Methodist Church, Knaresborough, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team of volunteers are instead redistributing food as food parcels and hot meals to people in need, who are unable to afford a normal home delivery service.
160 households are currently supported with food packages; including freshly prepared meals, as well as store cupboard items, toiletries and household goods.
The grant of £4,231 will cover a month’s running costs; sponsored by Harlow Lodge No 4404, Harrogate.
Pateley Bridge Dramatic Society (PBDS)
The PBDS is a small amateur company based in The Playhouse, a building which began life as a Primitive Methodist Chapel in 1859.
The Playhouse is staffed entirely by volunteers. It is well-used and a highly valued local resource, providing access to high quality performing arts in an area of rural isolation.
The in-house dramatic society operates at the high end of amateur theatre and have been semi-finalists in the All-England Theatre Festival in each of the last three years.
PBDS provide opportunities for young people, in liaison with local schools, to develop skills in the performing arts. The Playhouse also hosts community arts activities.
Work is underway to make The Playhouse accessible to the disabled, by installing a lift and disabled toilet. Funds for the building alterations have been secured and various fund-raising initiatives, together with a contribution from the local Council have gone a long way towards the £20k cost of the lift. The grant of £2,000 will assist in meeting their target and hopefully, completion of the work in March; sponsored by Vale of Nidd Lodge No 4984.
The Buddy Bag Foundation
The Foundation supplies ‘Buddy Bags’ to children who find themselves in emergency care after a traumatic incident.
Domestic violence has increased during the current pandemic and there are even more children who find themselves in a desperate situation and in need of help. Around 48,000 children require emergency accommodation in the UK each year. Children fleeing violent situations often leave home quickly, without the chance to collect basic items and arrive in emergency accommodation, typically women’s refuges, with just the clothes they are wearing.
A ‘Buddy Bag’ is a backpack, that contains all the essential items a child needs. They include toiletries, pyjamas, socks and underwear. They also include comfort items such as a book, photo frame and a teddy bear.
The bag is something a child can call their own and is a tangible sign that someone cares about them at a time of trauma. This has a positive impact in helping the child adjust to their new surroundings and start to feel more settled. The grant of £5,000 will be spent on buying items for 200 ‘Buddy Bags’, to share between the five areas of the Province; sponsored by Knaresborough Priory Lodge No 4171.
In addition to the grant from the PGM’s Fund, it is hoped that teddies from the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) scheme may be included in future ‘Buddy Bags’.
Firefly - Cancer Awareness and Support Foundation
Firefly Cancer Awareness and Support Foundation is a voluntary organisation providing free transport to local cancer patients and their families, taking them to and from regional treatment hospitals.
The service is funded entirely by donations and fundraising in the local community.
Running costs for the Firefly Express vehicles are in excess of £1,200 per week. The PGM’s Fund has made a grant of £3,000 towards these and a further £2,000 has been donated from the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund; sponsored by West Riding Fairways Lodge No 9664, Mexborough.
Allerton Bywater Miners Scout Group
Allerton Bywater Miners Scout Group cater for all age groups; Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. They actively engage and support young people in their personal development, to make a positive contribution to society. Acting with integrity; honesty, trustworthiness and loyalty, to respect and support others and the world in which we live.
All their camping equipment, particularly their tents are old and on their last camp were damaged in severe weather.
The grant of £1,000 will go a long way to replacing these; sponsored by Legiolium Lodge No 1542, Castleford.
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